Saturday, August 1, 2009

What Happens to all those Discarded Vehicle Tires?

Landfills are filling up with vehicle tires at an alarming rate. Tires are taking up green space and becoming even more of an environmental problem. The question has always been, "What do we do with them?" Quickly becoming a popular and environmentally safe answer is Rubber Mulch. Yes, rubber mulch! Sounds a little crazy but its usage is expanding rapidly. There are 3 basic usages with a number of alternative uses popping up all the time. I will briefly share with you a little about each of the 3 main uses.

Rubber Mulch (shredded tires) demonstrated a better shock absorption for playgrounds than other loose fill materials. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC there are over 200,000 children ages 14 and under, treated in emergency rooms for playground injuries every year. The CDC's fact sheet states that 45% of those playground related injuries are severe fractures, internal injuries, concussions, dislocations and amputations. Between 1990 and 2000, 31 children died from falls to the playground surface. One of the biggest factors in reducing injuries and their severity when children do fall from equipment, is a suitable playground surface. To soften the impact of a fall, the surface under the playground should be soft enough and thick enough. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( showed in tests conducted by independent testing laboratories that shredded tires (rubber mulch) outperformed all loose fill materials tested at an uncompressed depth of 6 inches.
Residential & Commercial Landscaping:
Becoming more and more popular every year is using rubber mulch for for landscaping. It has several advantages over other mulch products. It is a time saver for sure. Due to its unique characteristics, it lasts for a lifetime and depending on the manufacturer, it is guaranteed not to fade for up to 10 to 20 years. Imagine no more annual mulching. Rubber mulch comes in many colors and looks very natural in its nugget and shredded form. It is easy to install, non-toxic and does not wash or blow away. Although the initial cost is a bit more than wood mulch, it is very economical because it is long lasting.
Equestrian Arenas:
Rubber mulch, when mixed with certain types of sand becomes great footing for equestrian arenas. It reduces the impact on the horses joints and provides for safer footing. Rubber mulch will also help to reduce the amount of dust and mud. Arena owners will experience a reduction in overall maintenance and an enhancement in performance.